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4-4-20 Letters to the Tribune

By Staff | Apr 3, 2020

Community banks are there for you

The community bank members of the Independent Community Banks of North Dakota (ICBND) want to reassure their customers, communities, and other stakeholders that the banking system in North Dakota and nationwide is safe and sound during the COVID-19 pandemic. Additionally, our member banks’ commitment to serving its customers and communities during these uneasy times has never been more pronounced.

ICBND, along with the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), wants to remind and reassure North Dakotans that the safest place for their money is in a federally insured bank, which all North Dakota community banks are. Your money is safe, secure, and insured for individual bank deposits up to $250,000. Since 1933, no depositor has lost any FDIC-insured funds. The safety and soundness of the entire banking system is, and will remain, secure and unchanged.

If a bank has announced limited branch hours or specific lobby closures, it has been done to ensure that community banks will remain open and ready to meet all customers’ financial needs throughout this pandemic-however long it may last. Each of our member banks has communicated this information as effectively as possible to its customers and communities with the ultimate goal of protecting the health and safety of both customers and employees.

Our valued customers will have continued access to their funds and community bank services. Full banking services can be accessed through other locations (if a specific branch is closed) or by utilizing technology, drive-through services and/or person-to-person telephone interaction. While the current situation is unprecedented, community banks are prepared for situations like a pandemic, with tested and proven business continuity plans and procedures.

Consumers should also be aware of recent scams in which bad actors pretend to be FDIC representatives to perpetrate fraudulent schemes. The FDIC warns that consumers may receive false information regarding the security of their deposits or their ability to access cash-this is a scam. The FDIC does not send unsolicited correspondence asking for money or sensitive personal information, so please never respond to these requests.

To reiterate, the safest place for North Dakotans to keep their money during this time of uncertainty is a bank, where they will always have full access to it. On behalf of the North Dakota community banking industry, I urge consumers to not let fear drive decisions and instead rest assured that our banking system remains safe and sound and your community bankers are ready and able to serve your banking needs!

– Submitted via the N.D. Newspaper Association

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